July 20, 2017

"On Wednesday, Kirkland worried about her pet parrot, Rookie, whose cage didn’t fit in her Jeep. After she saw flames cresting a hill near her house..."

"... she left within 15 minutes and had to leave Rookie behind. Rookie likes to imitate the sound of firetruck sirens. But that afternoon, the bird was quiet. Kirkland thinks the parrot sensed something was wrong."

The parrot was right.

Kirkland is Janet Kirkland, 72, quoted in "'An insane amount of heat' as fire near Yosemite National Park moves with frightening speed," in the L.A. Times.

Was it mean of the L.A. Times to use that quote? It should be known that Kirkland saved her 2 dogs, and I can see not wanting a loose parrot in the car with the dogs. You know, you can get a travel-size carrier for a bird.

26 comments:

Mary Beth said...

Kirkland thinks the parrot sensed something was wrong.

Impending betrayal.

Tommy Duncan said...

I guess she didn't have a cardboard box or a suitcase into which to shove the bird for a 15 minute drive? I guess the birdcage couldn't hang out of a partially closed car trunk?

Michael K said...

Nice to have monsoon season in Tucson. I spent 60 years dealing with California fire season which usually starts later, about November.

rhhardin said...

Just set the parrot free. They fly.

AllenS said...

Agree with rh.

Sample Commenter said...

People are crazy about their parrots. The parrot wouldn't last an hour, out of. shape from being in a cage. But at least it would have an adventure for that short time, better than being burned to death in a cage.

Bob Boyd said...

There's never a pirate around when you need one.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Mary Beth said...
Kirkland thinks the parrot sensed something was wrong.

Impending betrayal.

7/20/17, 7:10 AM


Sharp. Bitter. To the point. Good form this morning, Mary Beth.

EDH said...

It's like she's ISIS and the parrot that Jordanian pilot.

grackle said...

I bought my second wife a parrot for Christmas. Paco, a Yellow-crowned amazon, was the smartest pet I’ve ever had. The bird loved her, tolerated me. If you get a parrot be prepared for constant clean-up around the perch. They fling almost as much fruit on the furniture as they eat. On the other hand, he was fastidious and never pooped while perched on our shoulders. Paco was fun. He kept us laughing at his antics.

Once my wife came home after a 2-week business trip. The sounds that bird made! Shrieks of joy, other-worldly howling, ear-splitting screams. One of our neighbors called the cops because they thought I was beating my wife.

Allison said...

Is that the worst written article on the paper today? This week? This year?

Who thinks that a story about a fire shouldn't open with "uncontained fire burning in x location to y location, #dead, # evacuated. "

The "color" stories as a sidebar are one thing. But there is no other story on the fire in the paper right now.

CStanley said...

You can get a travel sized carrier for a bird, and you can also grab a box or something as a makeshift carrier, but my interpretation was that there was not time for that. It may have been mean for this detail to be included (because the woman likely feels guilt) but I inferred that the story was included to show how quickly the fire came on.

Big Mike said...

Parrots are extremely intelligent. Mary Beth is right.

@rhhardin and AllenS, most owners clip the wings of pet birds.

CStanley said...

"Grabbing a box or something as a makeshift carrier" reminds me of a funny story....

While in high school I worked at a rural veterinary hospital which was 90% small animal but owing to circumstances of the location the vets would occasionally see large animals.

I answered the phone one day and a woman described a sick animal in need of attention, which I believed to be a cat. She wanted the vets to make a house call, which we seldom did, so I tried to convince her to bring the "cat" to the hospital. She quickly became exasperated, saying that this wasn't possible, and having had many such conversations with cat owners I assumed that she didn't think she could capture the cat or drive with it in the car if it was unrestrained. So I began making suggestions about how to catch the cat and put it in a makeshift carrier like a cardboard box. It was only when she incredulously asked if I was suggesting that she get a refrigerator box that I realized she had said she had a sick "calf", not "cat".

AllenS said...

I had friends who had two parrots (very large parrots) and they used to take then outside in the summer, and every once in a while, before the birds were put in the outside cage, they would fly into the trees, and stay there for the whole day. My only experience with parrots.

AllenS said...

Even if the parrot was his wings clipped, turn him loose. Maybe he can run real fast. Give the thing a chance.

One more thing, even if it's wings were clipped, put it in the Jeep. It isn't going to fly out, right?

Big Mike said...

@AllenS, I get where you're coming from, but birds can't run very fast and elderly women don't think very straight. If Rookie was like my son's conure (a robin-sized parrot) then she left the house with the bird calling to her "Don't leave Rookie! Come back! Come back!"

I hope that sound haunts her dreams the rest of her foolish life. And I'm not being too hard on the old biddy; how do you live in a woodland area and not set up a plan for getting your most important things, especially including yourself and your pets to safety in the event of a forest fire?

Valentine Smith said...

Panic sucks.

Yancey Ward said...

If you have to, you wrap the bird in a towel. However, I am willing to cut the lady some slack here- she is 72 and probably not terribly fast at doing anything, much less escaping a wild fire.

CStanley said...

@Big Mike...I get that your sympathies are with the bird, but that's pretty harsh. Lots of people (probably most) are unprepared for disasters. I knew people who left pets behind in Katrina and while I found it tragic I wouldn't have wanted to rub salt in the wounds.

Seeing Red said...

Good lord, put it in a pillow case or sheet.

Big Mike said...

@CStanley, not nearly harsh enough. I have some sympathies for people who lived in New Orleans and foolishly trusted the strong assurances of the US Army Corps of Engineers is one thing. Living in the wilderness without a plan to take your pets and most important belongings out with you in case of forest fire is something else. Rub salt in her wounds? I'd rub salt until the Atlantic is a freshwater lake.

Let me use very short words. Parrots are intelligent creatures. Not in the same league as humans, but still very smart. What she did is worse than reprehensible. Or is "reprehensible" too long a word?

Gahrie said...

If she couldn't save the bird herself, she should have at least set it free so it could attempt to save itself.

CStanley said...

@Big Mike...I won't press the argument any further, just don't agree there is much difference between hurricane prone NO and fire prone areas. I lived in NO for 12 years....every single year at the start of hurricane season, the Times Picayune would run the same feature, paraphrasing the headline here, "Will This Year be the Big One" with maps projecting how a monster storm making landfall at specific locations could put the whole city underwater. As it happened, the storm itself didn't do that but the breach of the levees did, but that distinction doesn't change the fact that everyone in NO knew that this could happen.

What happens though is human nature,,,complacency builds up each time there's a false alarm.

The other distinction you make is based on relative intelligence of the species, which I don't dispute but for a lot of people it's the emotional bonding that matters more. I do agree it's more tragic for an intelligent creature that can anticipate what is happening to endure death on a fire.

Marc Puckett said...

And then there is this article at the Daily Mail about the parrot that helped convict his owner's murderer, the owner's wife (unfortunately, it's pretty much fake news but...). Parrots are evidently loyal birds, which makes the old lady's betrayal seem even more reprehensible.

Marc Puckett said...

Mary Beth should get a Blog Commenting Award.